Kaori Sakamoto

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Kaori Sakamoto
Kaori Sakamoto 4cc 2018.jpg
Sakamoto in 2018
Personal information
Native name坂本花織
Country representedJapan Japan
Born (2000-04-09) 9 April 2000 (age 18)
Kobe, Japan
Height1.58 m (5 ft 2 in)
CoachSonoko Nakano
Mitsuko Graham
ChoreographerDavid Wilson
Benoît Richaud
Former choreographerMasahiro Kawagoe
Massimo Scali
Sonoko Nakano
Yukina Ota
Kenji Miyamoto
Skating clubSysmex Kobe
Training locationsHyogo, Japan
Began skating2004
World standing6 (As of 9 December 2018)[1]
Season's bests7 (As of 9 December 2018) [2]
ISU personal best scores
Combined total213.90
2018 Skate America
Short program71.29
2018 Skate America
Free skate142.61
2018 Skate America

Kaori Sakamoto (坂本花織, Sakamoto Kaori, born 9 April 2000) is a Japanese figure skater. She is the 2018 Four Continents Champion, the 2017 Skate America silver medalist and 2017 Japanese national silver medalist. Earlier in her career, she won bronze at the 2017 World Junior Championships, bronze at the 2016–17 JGP Final, and gold at the 2016–17 Japan Junior Championships. She represented Japan at the 2018 Winter Olympics, placing 6th.

Career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Sakamoto began learning to skate in 2004.[3] She won the gold medal at the 2012–13 Japan Novice Championships and placed 9th at the Japan Junior Championships that same year.

2013–2014 season: International junior debut[edit]

During the 2013–2014 season, Sakamoto debuted on the ISU Junior Grand Prix (JGP) circuit, placing sixth in Ostrava, Czech Republic. She finished eighth at the Japan Junior Championships.

2014–2015 season[edit]

Sakamoto started her season by finishing seventh at her JGP event in Aichi, Japan. She went on to win the Japanese national silver medal on the junior level before placing sixth on the senior level at the 2014–15 Japan Championships. Those results gave her a spot to compete at the 2015 World Junior Championships, where she placed fourth in the short program and 6th in the free skate to place sixth overall.

2015–2016 season[edit]

Sakamoto began her season by winning the silver medal at her JGP event in Riga, Latvia, and finishing fourth at her JGP event in Toruń, Poland. Due to a stress fracture in her right shinbone, she stayed off the ice in October and resumed skating without jumps in November.[4] At the Japanese Championships, she placed fifth competing in the junior event and thirteenth on the senior level. Sakamoto was selected to compete at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics. She placed fifth in the short program and sixth in the free skate to finish sixth overall.

2016–2017 season: World Junior bronze medalist[edit]

Bronze medalist Sakamoto (right) with compatriot silver medalist Marin Honda at the 2017 World Junior Figure Skating Championships.

Sakamoto received medals at both of her 2016–17 JGP assignments – silver in France and gold in Japan[4] – and then won the Japanese junior title. In December, she took the bronze medal at the JGP Final in Marseille, France, and placed seventh competing on the senior level at the Japan Championships. She was assigned to replace the injured Satoko Miyahara at the 2017 Asian Winter Games but withdrew due to the flu.[5] She went on to win bronze at the 2017 World Junior Championships.

2017–2018 season: Olympic season[edit]

Sakamoto started her first fully senior season at the 2017 Asian Figure Skating Trophy, placing first in both segments to take the gold. At the 2017 U.S Classic, she placed fifth in the short program and 4th in the free skate to place fourth overall, behind compatriot and gold medalist Marin Honda. Making her senior Grand Prix debut, she finished 5th at the 2017 Rostelecom Cup after placing fourth in the short program and fifth in the free skate. At the 2017 Skate America, she scored new personal best scores for both segments of the competition; she placed second in both the short program and free skate and won the silver medal overall behind teammate Satoko Miyahara.

At the 2017-18 Japan Figure Skating Championships, Sakamoto won the short program. In the free skate, she placed fourth and won the silver medal, her first senior national medal. Following the competition, the Japan Skating Federation named Sakamoto in Japan's team to the 2018 Winter Olympics, alongside Satoko Miyahara.[6] Sakamoto was named in Japan's team to the 2018 Four Continents Championships with Miyahara and training-mate Mai Mihara. She was also selected as the first alternate for the 2018 World Championships, behind Miyahara and Wakaba Higuchi.

At the 2018 Four Continents Championships, Sakamoto placed second in the short program with a new personal best score, behind teammate Satoko Miyahara. Sakamoto won the free skate with another personal best score, and won the championship, leading a Japanese sweep of the podium.

Sakamoto competed in the ladies' free skating portion of the Team Event at the 2018 Winter Olympics. She placed fifth individually, and fifth overall within Team Japan. In the ladies' singles competition, Sakamoto skated a new personal best short program and was fifth going into the free skate. In the free skate, Sakamoto made minor mistakes, but still was able to post the sixth highest free skating score of the event, and ended in sixth place overall.

Post-Olympics, Sakamoto competed at the 2018 Coupe du Printemps. In the short program, she placed first. In the free skate, she fell on the second jump of a planned double axel-triple toe loop-double toe loop combination, and doubled a planned triple loop to place second in the segment. She ended the competition second overall behind compatriot Mai Mihara.

2018–2019 season[edit]

Sakamoto began the season at the 2018 CS Lombardia Trophy, where a disastrous short program left her in ninth place going into the free skate. She placed second in the free skate, rebounding to fourth place overall. Subsequently, Sakamoto indicated that she felt she had not had enough practice time before the event.[7] Competing at the 2018 Skate America, she repeated as the silver medalist, again finishing behind compatriot Miyahara. She pronounced herself "satisfied" with the results.[8] At her second event, the 2018 Grand Prix of Helsinki, Sakamoto fell twice in the short program, ending up in seventh place. She came second in the free skate, to place third overall, and remarked: "I gave it everything I had that was the only chance I would have to make it to the podium today. I forgot about yesterday’s program, and I just gave my best today."[9]

At the 2018–19 Grand Prix Final, Sakamoto placed fourth in both segments, narrowly missing the podium after falling on the last part of her three-jump combination. Miyahara expressed happiness at the score she had achieved even with the error.[10]

Programs[edit]

Season Short program Free skating Exhibition
2018–2019
2017–2018
[11][12][3]



James Bond 007 medley[15]

2016–2017
[16]
2015–2016
[17]
  • The Color Purple
    by Quincy Jones
    choreo. by Massimo Scali
2014–2015
[18]
2013–2014
[19]

Competitive highlights[edit]

GP: Grand Prix; CS: Challenger Series; JGP: Junior Grand Prix

International[20]
Event 12–13 13–14 14–15 15–16 16–17 17–18 18–19
Olympics 6th
Four Continents 1st
GP Final 4th
GP Finland 3rd
GP Rostelecom 5th
GP Skate America 2nd 2nd
CS U.S. Classic 4th
CS Lombardia 4th
Asian Games WD
Asian Open 3rd 1st
Coupe Printemps 2nd
International: Junior[20]
Junior Worlds 6th 3rd
Youth Olympics 6th
JGP Final 3rd
JGP Czech Rep. 6th
JGP France 2nd
JGP Japan 7th 1st
JGP Latvia 2nd
JGP Poland 4th
Asian Open 1st
Challenge Cup 1st
International: Advanced novice[21]
Triglav Trophy 2nd
National[21][22]
Japan 6th 13th 7th 2nd
Japan Junior 9th 6th 2nd 5th 1st
Japan Novice 1st A
Team events
Olympics 5th T
5th P
Japan Open TBD
Levels: N = Novice; J = Junior; TBD = Assigned; WD = Withdrew
T = Team result; P = Personal result. Medals awarded for team result only.

Detailed results[edit]

Senior level[edit]

Sakamoto at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Small medals for short and free programs awarded only at ISU Championships. At team events, medals awarded for team results only. ISU Personal bests in bold.

2018–19 season
Date Event SP FS Total
December 6–9, 2018 2018–19 Grand Prix Final 4
70.23
4
141.45
4
211.68
November 2–4, 2018 2018 Grand Prix of Helsinki 7
57.26
2
140.16
3
197.42
October 19–21, 2018 2018 Skate America 2
71.29
2
142.61
2
213.90
September 12–16, 2018 2018 CS Lombardia Trophy 9
49.91
2
130.94
4
180.85
2017–18 season
Date Event SP FS Total
March 16–18, 2018 2018 Coupe du Printemps 1
73.27
2
129.29
2
202.56
February 15–23, 2018 2018 Winter Olympics (ladies' singles) 5
73.18
6
136.53
6
209.71
February 9–12, 2018 2018 Winter Olympics (team event) - 5
131.91
5T
January 22–28, 2018 2018 Four Continents Championships 2
71.34
1
142.87
1
214.21
December 21–24, 2017 2017–18 Japan Championships 1
73.59
4
139.92
2
213.51
November 24–26, 2017 2017 Skate America 2
69.40
2
141.19
2
210.59
October 20–22, 2017 2017 Rostelecom Cup 4
68.88
5
125.12
5
194.00
September 13–17, 2017 2017 U.S. Classic 5
56.82
4
112.30
4
169.12
August 2–5, 2017 2017 Asian Trophy 1
63.70
1
112.41
1
176.11

Junior level[edit]

Small medals for short and free programs awarded only at ISU Championships.

2016–17 season
Date Event Level SP FS Total
March 13–19, 2017 2017 World Junior Championships Junior 3
67.78
3
127.76
3
195.54
December 22–25, 2016 2016–17 Japan Championships Senior 6
63.36
9
120.64
7
184.00
November 18–20, 2016 2016–17 Japan Junior Championships Junior 1
67.45
1
124.52
1
191.97
December 8–11, 2016 2016–17 JGP Final Junior 2
64.48
4
111.85
3
176.33
September 7–11, 2016 2016 JGP Japan Junior 1
65.66
2
122.15
1
187.81
August 24–27, 2016 2016 JGP France Junior 2
64.12
2
114.74
2
178.86
2015–16 season
Date Event Level SP FS Total
February 12–21, 2016 2016 Youth Olympics Junior 5
56.25
6
98.98
6
155.23
December 24–27, 2015 2015–16 Japan Championships Senior 17
53.90
12
111.60
13
165.50
November 21–23, 2015 2015–16 Japan Junior Championships Junior 5
58.96
6
111.76
5
170.72
September 23–27, 2015 2015 JGP Poland Junior 3
56.89
4
101.55
4
158.44
August 26–30, 2015 2015 JGP Latvia Junior 3
58.75
2
112.20
2
170.95
August 2–5, 2015 2015 Asian Open Trophy Senior 3
39.64
3
99.36
3
139.00
2014–15 season
Date Event Level SP FS Total
March 2–8, 2015 2015 World Junior Championships Junior 4
58.72
6
107.53
6
166.25
December 26–28, 2014 2014–15 Japan Championships Senior 7
57.81
6
109.65
6
167.46
November 22–24, 2014 2014–15 Japan Junior Championships Junior 4
57.35
2
111.47
2
168.82
September 11–14, 2014 2014 JGP Japan Junior 6
52.70
7
93.46
7
146.16
2013–14 season
Date Event Level SP FS Total
March 14–16, 2014 2014 International Challenge Cup Junior 1
54.98
2
98.89
1
153.87
December 20–23, 2013 2013–14 Japan Championships Senior 9
56.29
16
95.56
15
151.85
November 22–24, 2013 2013–14 Japan Junior Championships Junior 8
47.14
4
101.64
6
148.78
October 2–5, 2013 2013 JGP Czech Republic Junior 7
52.80
6
93.69
6
146.49
August 8–11, 2013 2013 Asian Open Trophy Junior 1
53.20
1
102.28
1
155.48
2012–13 season
Date Event Level SP FS Total
March 27–31, 2013 2013 Triglav Trophy Novice 2
37.64
2
77.51
2
115.15
November 17–28, 2012 2012–13 Japan Junior Championships Junior 13
46.56
7
92.96
9
139.52

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ISU World Standings for Single & Pair Skating and Ice Dance - Ladies". International Skating Union.
  2. ^ "ISU Judging System - Season Bests Total Scores 2018/2019". International Skating Union.
  3. ^ a b "Kaori SAKAMOTO: 2017/2018". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on October 19, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Xiong, Wei (October 18, 2016). "Kaori Sakamoto: "I need to work harder"". Golden Skate.
  5. ^ "Sakamoto out of figure skating competition at Asian Winter Games with flu". Kyodo News. The Japan Times. February 22, 2017.
  6. ^ "Kaori Sakamoto looking for further improvement ahead of Pyeongchang Games". Kyodo News. The Japan Times. December 25, 2017.
  7. ^ Gallagher, Jack (October 16, 2018). "Cheerful personality helps Kaori Sakamoto shine on ice". The Japan Times.
  8. ^ Slater, Paula (October 21, 2018). "Miyahara takes second Skate America gold". Golden Skate.
  9. ^ Slater, Paula (November 3, 2018). "Zagitova wins fifth Grand Prix gold in Helsinki". Golden Skate.
  10. ^ Flett, Ted (December 9, 2018). "Japan's Rika Kihira reigns in Vancouver". Golden Skate.
  11. ^ 大橋, 護良 (June 27, 2017). "「トリプルアクセルを絶対に跳びたい」シニアデビュー控える17歳・坂本花織". Yahoo Japan. スポーツナビ.
  12. ^ "坂本花織、SP曲を変更 ジャンプ全て後半にするも、ミスが相次ぐ". Daily Sports, 神戸新聞. August 12, 2017.
  13. ^ a b "木下グループ presents スターズ・オン・アイス 2018 (Special)". TBS 2. 21 April 2018.
  14. ^ THE Legends - Medal Winners Gala (Television production). TBS 1. March 30, 2018.
  15. ^ ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Rostelecom Cup 2017 Exhibition (Television production). Match! Arena. October 22, 2017.
  16. ^ "Kaori SAKAMOTO: 2016/2017". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on June 24, 2017.
  17. ^ "Kaori SAKAMOTO: 2015/2016". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on May 28, 2016.
  18. ^ "Kaori SAKAMOTO: 2014/2015". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on May 21, 2015.
  19. ^ "Kaori SAKAMOTO: 2013/2014". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on June 22, 2014.
  20. ^ a b "Competition Results: Kaori SAKAMOTO". International Skating Union.
  21. ^ a b "Kaori Sakamoto". Tracings.net.
  22. ^ "坂本 花織 / SAKAMOTO Kaori" (in Japanese). Japan Skating Federation. Archived from the original on March 7, 2015.

External links[edit]

Media related to Kaori Sakamoto at Wikimedia Commons